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Mindanao

 

The second largest and most southerly of the Philippine Islands.

 

(PG: dp. 163; l. 101'6"; b. 16'; dr. 5'9"; s. 7 k.; cpl. 30; a. 2 6‑pdr. 2 3‑pdr., 2 1‑pdr.)

 

Mindanao, a former Spanish unarmored gunboat, was laid down at Cavite Navy Yard in 1894; captured by the Army 1 May 1898; and acquired by the Navy 17 January 1899. She was never commissioned.

 

Still under construction at the time of the outbreak of the Spanish American War, work was resumed on Mindanao following her acquisition by the Navy. In June 1904, when the gunboat was 75 percent structurally complete, work was stopped because the cost of preparing her for sea duty was too high. She was stricken from the Navy list 11 February 1905 and sold for scrap.

 

II

 

(ARG‑3: dp. 4,621 (lt.); l. 442'; b. 57'; dr. 23'; s. 13 k.; cpl. 574; a. 1 5", 3 3", 4 40mm.; cl. Luzon; T. EC‑2‑8‑Cl)

 

The second Mindanao (ARG‑3) was built as Elbert Hubbard (MCE‑983) under Maritime Commission contract by Bethlehem‑Fairfield Shipyard, Inc., Baltimore, Md.; launched 13 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. C. R. Spalding; acquired by the Navy 20 May 1943; and commissioned as Mindanao (ARG‑3) 6 November 1943, Comdr. G. B. Evans in command.

 

After shakedown in Chesapeake Bay, Mindanao joined TG 29.7 on 20 December 1943, and sailed for Cuba, the Panama Canal, and Noumea, New Caledonia, arriving 27 January 1944 to report for duty with Service Squadron South Pacific. The internal combustion engine repair ship immediately found herself with more than enough work. On 25 February she sailed to continue her vital task at Espiritu Santo, and in September she arrived at Manus to serve the forces staging for the Philippine campaign.

 

Now with TG 30.9, she was anchored in Seeadler Harbor on the morning of 10 November, when at about 0850 ammunition ship Mount Hood (AE‑11) blew up. Mindanao, 350 yards away, suffered extensive damage particularly to her superstructure, and aft. Of her crew, 180 were killed or wounded. The survivors, with Seabees from shore, immediately began to aid the wounded and clear the debris, a job which took 7 days. Repairs began on the 18th, performed by her own crew with aid again from Seabees, as well as men and equipment from Medusa. By 21 December, Mindanao was ready to resume her key function in repairing engines for other ships.

 

After a brief voyage to the Solomons in February and March 1945, Mindanao arrived at Ulithi 27 March to prepare ships for the Okinawa campaign. There she served until 9 October, when she sailed for periods of duty at Okinawa and Shanghai.

 

Her duty supporting the occupation forces complete, Mindanao got underway for home 26 March 1946. She called at San Pedro, Calif.; Balboa and Colon, C.Z.; New Orleans, La.; and Galveston, Tex., before arriving Orange, Tex., 12 July. She decommissioned there 17 May 1947 to join the Reserve Fleet, and remained at Orange even after being transferred to the Maritime Commission in 1961. In September 1962 she joined the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Beaumont, Tex., where she remains into 1969.